The Heart of Winter: 2.1 – 2.7

February 1, 2017
It's Winter Carnival in Saint Paul

It’s Winter Carnival in Saint Paul

Happy February! Well, we seem to have gotten through what is normally the coldest week of the year without any adverse weather events. We now have a week featuring a winter carnival, the crazy (stupid?) Crashed Ice, and some great music. With temperatures above normal for this time of year, its easy to get out and find strength and inspiration in music. After all, music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, February 1

Nellie McKay: The Life and Times of Billy Tipton @ The Dakota, Minnepolis. 7pm ($35, $45, $50) McKay is a vocalist/pianist whose charm, whimsy, and  satirical wit have earned her many fans among jazz, pop, and cabaret audiences. For this appearance she’ll be performing “A Girl Named Bill,” a “revue-with-dialogue” about a fairly successful pianist from the 50s and 60s by the name of Billy Tipton. Tipton was thought to be a man, and wasn’t discovered as a woman until her death. If there is anyone who can make a compelling, yet witty case for this musician, it’s McKay.

Zack Lozier Three @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) Talented trumpeter Zack Lozier has spent time in the Doc Severeinson Orchestra; The Jack brass Band, Havana Hi-Fi; Southside Aces, Davina & the Vagabonds and a number of other bands. He’s an in-demand kind of guy, who also has this great trio with Steve Pikal, bass; and Stephen Hobart, piano, the group explores some of Lozier’s favorite songs, including tunes by Louis Armstrong.

SPAT @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) A group of college age musicians that will likely be the next generation of star players in town: Sam Worthington, bs; Patrick Adkins, pno; Andrew Tomten, sax; Tarek Abdelqader, drums

Thursday, February 2

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Tonight features a great trio, Red Planet, a group that knows how to successfully create jazz fusion without bombarding listeners with overbearing drum beats. That’s because drummer Jay Epstein, whose background includes a stint with the rock band Gypsy, is one of the more tasteful drummers around. It certainly helps that his bandmates, Dean Magraw on guitar, and Chris Bates on bass, also have taste and chops galore.

Cox, Nichols, & Seru @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Anthony Cox, bass; Bryan Nichols, keys; and Davu Seru, drums/percussion, have formed a group called Suffer the Children. They are three advanced musicians who can play it straight, or go out there. I suspect that tonight will lean towards going out there, which should prove to be exciting.

Friday, February 3

Davell Crawford’s B3 Organ Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis.  7pm ($30, $40) New Orleans native and keyboard player Davell Crawford has become a favorite at the Dakota. He comes from a musical family, essentially absorbing traditional jazz, gospel, funk, and R&B in his veins to the point where he is the new ambassador of the New Orleans piano tradition. Tonight, however, he’s heading for the Hammond B3, which should increase his music’s fun factor by several degrees.  Here he is on piano.

Jana Nyberg Group @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Vocalist/flutist Jana Nyberg has a unique take on music, effortlessly blending and integrating jazz and pop with panache and grace. She also happens to have a great band: husband Adam Meckler on trumpet and flugelhorn, as well as Sean Turner, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Rodney Ruckus on drums.

Friday, Saturday, February 3, 4

Todd Harper & Friends @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($12/night, $20 for both) Pianist Todd Harper used to do an annual series with Carei Thomas and Paul Cantrell called Keys Please each year. This year, he’s doing something a bit different. These two evenings will be devoted to the compositions of Carei Thomas & Todd Harper.  Friday night will feature a quartet of Todd Harper, piano; Eric Coursen, drums; Aaron Kerr, electric cello; and Nathan Hanson, soprano and tenor saxophones. Saturday night will have two components: an exploratory/lyrical trio with Todd Harper, Eric Coursen, and bassist Keith Yanes, and the release of Harper’s solo piano CD, Metaphorsisis. Harper was my guest on this past Saturday’s Rhythm and Grooves. if you want to hear the interview, go to the link and click on the appropriate icon.

Saturday, February 4

Davell Crawford Deep in the Heart of New Orleans @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $40) Crawford (see Friday, above) returns to the piano for this evening that will explore the music of the Big Easy.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Holy Shamoley, as cartoon characters sometimes say. Tonight we have The Atlantis Quartet, area leading lights of 21st Century jazz, as the opening act at 7pm. Zacc Harris, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; Brandon Wozniak, sax; and Pete Hennig, drums, will have you alternately rockin’ and swingin’. Then at 8:30, The Ben Allison Trio, with Ben Allison  bass; Steve Cardenas, guitar; and Allison Miller, drums take the stage. Allison has recorded eleven albums as a leader and has been a sideman on recording by folks like Ted Nash, Curtis Stigers, Frank Kimbrough, Lee Konitz and others. Earlier in the day, from 1pm – 2:30pm, the trio will conduct a free clinic on improvisation at the McNally Smith College of Music auditorium for high school and college-aged students and young professional musicians, and will include a live performance by Ben Allison’s Trio, and an interactive clinic with featured demonstration group, the Dakota Combo. Here is Allison with a different trio.

Monday, February 6

Bruce Barth Trio @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($25, $50 w/Dinner Show) Pianist Barth is a favorite of Tony Bennett and in fact, has accompanied him a number of times. Barth arrived in NYC in 1988 and soon joined Stanley Turrentine, with whom he played for over a decade. He toured with Nat Adderley, as well as Vincente Herring, and was a member of Terence Blanchard’s band, where he recorded six CDs and appeared as a piano player in Spike Lee’s film Malcolm X. He’s been recorded on about one hundred albums, including ten as a leader. The California born pianist has had extended collaborations with folks such as Tony Bennett,  Terell Stafford, Karrin Allyson, and David Sanchez. And he has performed with a host of other jazz giants, including James Moody, Phil Woods, Freddie Hubbard, Tom Harrell, Branford Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, and the Mingus Big Band.

Tuesday, February 7

Dean Magraw & Davu Seru @ The Black Dog Cafe, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) The always amazing duo of guitarist Dean Magraw and drummer/percussionist Davu Seru can be counted on to take you to unexpected, yet highly enjoyable music places.

For more listings, KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.   For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs, Jazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, February 1

Dan Rumsey on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar)  Dan Rumsey is a guitarist, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist whose singing and playing evoke 70s rock and singer/songwriters. I’ll be hosting the House Party today, so tune in to KFAI and get over to the 331 Club if you like what you hear.

Erica West Band @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Take a soulful, sensuous singer, add in her guitarist husband to lead the band, and you have a tight unit that creates jazzy R&B and pop.

Thursday, February 2

Home Fires @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6:00pm (No Cover)  Sarah Morris and Vicky Emerson are a couple of accomplished singer/songwriters who were scheduled to appear as the Home Fires last month, though Ms Emerson had to stay home to care for a sick child. The two singers have often appeared on the same bill and have a lot in common: both are excellent songsmiths; both have an affinity for Americana/alt country; and both can deliver heartfelt ballads and romping uptempo tunes with equal verve.

Jake Hanson Trio @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Hanson is an inventive guitarist who makes good use of pedal effects to create surf sounds, Ventures music, blues, 50s rock, and more. He’s a sought after musician who has played with a variety of high-profile Minnesota artists, including Halloween Alaska, Mason Jennings, Solid Gold, Haley Bonar, The Pines and many more. It will be fun to see him playing for the Friday night crowd at Crooners. Here is Hanson in a duo setting.

Danny B. Harvey & His Cats @ The Hook & Ladder Theater and Lounge, Minneapolis. 9:00pm ($7 Advnce/$10 Door) Here’s a night of rockabilly from Danny B. Harvey, best known as the guitarist for the super group HeadCat (a band he formed with Lemmy from Motorhead and Slim Jim Phantom from Stray Cats), he was also a founding member of the the original neo-rockabily band The Rockats. Danny has also produced, recorded and performed with Wanda Jackson, Nancy Sinatra, Johnny Ramone, and Lee Rocker. Joining Danny on vocals is Annie Marie Lewis, niece of pioneering rock n’ roller Jerry Lee Lewis, and the daughter of Linda Gale Lewis, as well as a cousin of Mickey Gilley. They’ll be joined by special guests Noah Levy on drums and Tommy Vee, bass. I understand that Lori Barbero of Babes in Toyland may join them for a few songs. The Bad Companions open.

Jaedyn James & the Hunger @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($7) This is a somewhat raw, but exciting 10 piece R&B/Soul band, with a leader/vocalist who brings on the energy with no restraint. They promote fun with a passion, and are certain to keep people from staring at their phones during a performance. They will, in fact, delight anyone who is into danceable R&B.

Friday, February 3

Davina & the Vagabonds @ Wilebski’s Blues Saloon, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($??) Ms Davina is a force of nature when it comes to singing, while the Vagabonds can match her note for note. With a repertoire that’s inspired by New Orleans, and a backbeat just made for swing dancers, I expect this will be a fun-filled show.

Ben Cook-Feltz and…  Friends? @ Bryant Lake Bowl, Minneapolis. 8pm ($7) This show will feature guest performances from some of the finest talent the Twin Cities has to offer, who happen also to be some of Ben’s best friends on the scene, including Jillian Rae, Sarah Morris, Mother Banjo, Doug Otto, Kari Arnett and Art Vandalay. Some will be sitting in with Cook-Feltz and the band, others will perform their own songs.

Maurice Jacox @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley, 7:30pm (No Cover) R&B, Soul, Jazz, and standards from the under-recorded Maurice Jacox on vocals and occasional sax, as well as Thomas West, keys; Mike Cramer, guitar; and award winning drummer Robb Stupka.

Saturday, February 4

Saturday Salons @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 3pm ($20) The folks at Crooners are starting a new series for those who enjoy classical music, with the inimitable Marie Jette as host. This matinee series will feature a wide panoply of the world’s chamber music from early Renaissance and Baroque pieces to Mosart, Debussy, and music of the 21st Century. Today, performers will be presenting music from the Love Song Waltzes of Johannes Brahms in solos, duets, and quartets for four singers and two pianists. Today’s musicians are: Maria Jette, soprano; Victoria Vargas, mezzo-soprano; Dan Dressen, tenor; Michael Jorgensen, bass baritone; with pianists Mary Jo Gothmann and Tadeusz Majewski.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo @ The State Theater, Minneapolis. 8pm ($29.50 – $49.50) Can it really be 50 years since South Africa’s Joseph Shabala had a dream about the music he would make with 8 other male singers? The deep sonority of their acapella voices, combined with their storytelling, dancing, and messages of peace, love, and harmony can still strike a chord deep within us. The membership of the group has changed over the years, as a younger generation replaces older singers, yet their message and sound remains the same.

Undervud @ The Museum of Russian Art, Minneapolis. 7pm ($17 Members, $20 General, 4 or more/$15 per ticket) The wonderfully curated and laid-out Museum of Russian Art continues to bring in liver performers of all stripes. Tonight they’ve got the leaders of a popular Russian rock band called Undervud, formed in the late 90s by two medical students who quit school after a couple of hits and moved to Moscow. They’ve since recorded seven albums. This will be an acoustic performance by the founding members of the band. Opening is Roman Lugovykh, leader of the band Romario, which had a sold out performance at the museum in September.  Here’s Undrvud – the full band.

Mini Blues Fest @ Whiskey Junction, Minneapolis. 8pm ($??) It’s a midwinter blues respite, with an evening devoted to three different blues acts, Featuring harpist Paul Barry with his trio the Ace Tones with vocalist Lila Ammons at 8pm, octogenarian pianist (and father of Jimmy Jam) Cornbread Harris at 9:30pm and finishing up with The Cobras at 11pm, with Washtub James, aka Pat Dawson, bass; Elliot “Mojo: Harris, drums; Brian Duke, guitar & vocals; and Tom Ferring, vocals and harmonica.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the MN Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar.

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A Weekend of Festivals: Music for 6.27 – 7.3

June 27, 2012

Last year’s Jazz Festival. Always a good idea to bring your own chairs.

What a weekend! We have a Jazz Festival, a Blues Festival, and a Honky Tonk Festival in town. The Deep Blues Festival at the Bayport BBQ is sold out, so you’ll have to find someone willing to sell his or her ticket. Good luck with that. This year’s Twin Cities Jazz Festival (which really should be called the Saint Paul Jazz Festival) involves hundreds of performers and dozens of venues. It’s impossible to list every act, so go to http://www.hotsummerjazz.com to see the schedule. It’s an adventurous one, with jazz of many stripes, including some free improvisation at Studio Z,  MacNally Smith ensembles at the Minnesota Music Cafe, and jam sessions at the Amsterdam and Artists Quarter. Artist descriptions can be found in the festival program, which should be easily available at all venues. If jazz isn’t your thing, you may enjoy Saturday’s Honky Tonk Festival, which I’ve listed below.

Jazz

Wednesday, June 27

Graydon Peterson Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Graydon on bass, Adam Meckler on trumpet, Vinnie Rose on guitar, and Adam Suarez on drums. Graydon’s originals in odd time signatures, and other tunes to be sure.

Steve Hobart, Jeremy Boettcher, and Jay Epstein @ the Nomad, Minneapolis. 10pm (no cover) Boettcher, bass; and Hobart, piano; are young players who grew up in the area, left for school and musical opportunities, and have recently returned. They are proving to be versatile musicians, and tonight they are teaming up with the veteran, and highly tasteful drummer Jay Epstein.

Thursday, June 28

Twin Cities Jazz Festival: Pippi Ardennia @ Mears Park and others in venues around Saint Paul – Free!: http://www.hotsummerjazz.com The Amsterdam has a particularly strong line-up tonight starting at 5pm wit Ticket to Brazil, and continuing with the piano trios of Chris Lomheim at 6:30 and Mary Louise Knutson at 8pm, followed by vocalists Joyce Lyons, Nichola Miller, and a jam led by the Jazz Central all-stars.

Jack Brass Band @ The Central Library, Saint Paul. 11:30AM  (Free) Grab lunch from one of the food trucks that gather round Rice Park and enjoy the uplifting, always fun music of JBB.

Sophia Shorai @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (no cover) With her sweet, sometimes aching voice, the brightly smiling Ms Shorai will be backed by Tommy Barbarella, piano, Jeff Bailey, bass, and Adam Suarez, drums. It’s Foodie Night, and the policy is now no cover and a $10 bottle of wine!

Friday, June 29

Twin Cities Jazz Festival: Delfeayo Marsalis @ Mears Park, and more: http://www.hotsummerjazz.com If you want to avoid the crowds at Mears Park, check out the Hat Trick Lounge, with four strong groups, including Dean Magraw’s Red Planet.

Patty Peterson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12) Ms Peterson always has a stellar group of players with her, equally adept at jazz and R&B. Tonight she’ll also be joined by saxophonist Steve Cole, who records for Universal and has played with Boz Scaggs, Larry Carlton, and Brian Culbertson, among others.

Saturday, June 30

Twin Cities Jazz Festival: The Bad Plus with Joshua Redman @ Mears Park, The Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education Stage outside of the Black Dog, and a plethora of area artists playing around town: http://www.hotsummerjazz.com

Optimum Trajectory Jazz Quintet @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, 3036 Minnehaha, Minneapolis. 3pm – 5pm (no cover) Here’s a pleasant way to wile away an afternoon. Check out the brews at the Tap Room, where you can hang outside if the weather’s nice and enjoy the sounds of Ira Adelman, sax; Steve Hillson, trumpet; Margo Vreivik, bass; Garth Anderson, drums; and Tim McNamara, guitar. There may even be a food truck present.

Lulu’s Playground @ The Red Stag, Minneapolis. 10:30pm (no cover) Interesting textures and timbres from Evan Montgomery, guitar; Adam Meckler, trumpet; Steve Hobart, accordion; and Cory Grossman, cello.

Sunday, July 1

Dos Dinos @ The Amsterdam, Saint Paul. 11am (no cover) Dean Harrington and Dean Mikkelson, Two of the area’s most underrated guitar players, team up during the Amsterdam’s brunch hours, which features a Hash Menu and special Bloody Mary. Expect swinging standards and gypsy jazz, as Dos Dinos trade off licks and rhythm.

Sunday, Monday, July 1,2

Bill Frisell: the Music of John Lennon @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40 – $45) Perhaps the most exquisite guitarist on the planet, Frisell, whose spare, atmospheric playing has been applied to numerous genres, gives us his unique take on Lennon.

Monday, July 2

Clay Pufhal @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (donation) Jazz Central is the place to see some of the best musicians in the area playing outside of their normal groups. A regular member and composer for the X-Tet, tenor sax player Pufhal plays around town with a variety of groups.

Firebell @ Red Stag, Minneapolis. 9pm. (no cover) Park Evans, guitar; Graydon Peterson, bass (his name is popping up alot lately); and Jay Epstein on drums.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz, go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs Jazz PoliceBebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, June 27

Mother Banjo @ Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm. (Free) Bring a lunch, or get one at Anita’s Cafe in the Landmark, and sit down to hear a little alt country, alt banjo, and alt gospel from Mother Banjo, aka Ellen Stanley (of Red House Records and KFAI’s Womenfolk show) who’s been making fans around the nation with her picking, composing, and singing.

Thursday, June 28

Crankshaft & the Gear Grinders @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, 3036 Minnehaha, Minneapolis. 7pm. (No cover) Down, dirty, and raw blues, played in an intimate spot. You’ll have to go around back.

Friday, June 29

Mystic Order of Reverb & Twang @ Lake Harriet Bandshell, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (free) Rockabilly, Surf, 50s & 60s rock n’ roll, and even some classic country will be reverberating the bandshell. Bring a picnic, buy an ice cream cone from the bandshell’s kitchen, and enjoy a summer’s evening by the lake.

Ron Thompson with the Butanes @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm. ($8) Back in the day, Ron Thompson would play high energy blues for hours without a break. For this show, he’ll be backed by the Butanes, who may be the only band in town that can keep up with him.

Motown Throwdown with Big Villain and Toussaint Morrison @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 10pm. ($5) 18+ show. Toussaint will be singing songs from The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, and others of that era. Reid Kennedy, better known as a jazz drummer about town, has put together a live hip hop band to do the backing. Sounds like fun. Dichotomy also appears.

Saturday, June 30

Honky Tonk Fest @ Grumpys Northeast, Minneapolis. 2pm – 9pm This is a benefit, with all proceeds going to the Minnesota Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Featuring a bevy of talent, including: Trailer Trash, Lazy Ike & the Daredevils, Jennifer Marky & the Tennesee Snowpants, Cactus Blossoms, The Ditchlilies, Sister Shaw. Photo Booth, pulled pork sammies and more.

Saturday Sock Hop w/Steve Clarke & The Working Stiffs, with The Bad Companions @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($7). This Saturday Sock Hop is presented by Freewheelin’s Jackson Buck and features Dance Instructor Extraordinaire, Miss Shannon. You can catch her free dance instructions weekly at Lee’s, Famous Dave’s and other venues around town, generally an hour before the music starts. Same thing tonight, with a little extra. Dance lessons start at 8:30, and a special Rock-A-Billy Stroll Dance lesson will occur about 10:15, after the Bad Companions open.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the Minnesota Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar.


Here Comes Summer. Music for 5.30 – 6.5

May 30, 2012

Saint Paul at night. Photo by Steve C.

There are enough events going on in Saint Paul this week, that it seems appropriate to use a photo of the city. I like this one, taken from Indian Mound Park on the East Side and published in an intriguing blog,  Twin Cities Daily Photo.  Whether you live in Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Maplewood, or Minnetonka, be sure to support our resident artists as well as those visiting our cities.

Jazz

Wednesday, May 30

David Huckfelt & James Buckley @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) James Buckley is a bassist-about-town who is equally at home in pop and folk-rock as he is in jazz. He’s been doing a fine job of curating the Nomad’s Wednesday nigh Jazz Series, bringing in adventurous and accessible groups. Tonight features one of the founders of The Pines, an Americana group that’s been making national waves, playing with Buckley. Not for jazz purists, but sure to be interesting.

Thursday, May 31

Pete Whitman’s X-Tet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) If it seems that I’m often highlighting Whitman and this group, it’s because their monthly appearances at the AQ  are always high quality, always energizing, and always fun.

Friday, Saturday, June 1, 2

Benny Weinbeck Trio @ D’Amico Kitchen, Chambers Hotel, 901 Hennepin, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (No Cover) the music of Weinbeck on piano, along with Gordy Johnson, bass, and Phil Hey on drums, hardly seems to register with diners. However, you can sit on a couch right next to them in the lounge area, and have an adult beverage while enjoying their high-quality jazz. It’s only a few weeks before the restaurant gives them their summer hiatus, so catch them now.

Red Planet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Drummer Jay Epstein once played with a high profile rock group. Guitarist Dean Magraw has played funky rhythm and blues,  as well as a host of world musics. Chris Bates plays bass in a number of genres. Together they play music that might be called jazz fusion. Only it’s jazz fusion with taste, not bombast. Improvisations are cogent, and rhythmic underpinnings are solid.

Saturday, June 2

Charmin Michelle @ The Lexington, Saint Paul. 6:30pm (No Cover) Saturday night. Dinner in a clubby setting, a few classic cocktails, and the smoked honey voice of Ms Michelle, singing love songs. It’s a recipe for a date night, if I ever heard one. Afraid this gig was cancelled at the last minute.

Sunday, June 3

Sophie Milman @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30) & 9pm ($20). Miman is a charming performer, whose repertoire runs from Ellington to the Everlys and more. She’s a vocalist with a lush, sultry sound, the kind you think of when romanticizing cocktail lounges. The Dakota is just the kind of venue in which to hear her.

Monday, June 4

Adam Meckler Orchestra @ Rice Park, Saint Paul. Noon (Free) You’ll be seeing this young big band’s name all around town this summer. Among its members: Chris Bates, bass; Pete Hennig, drums; Zack Lozier, trumpet; Joe Strachan, piano; and Zacc Harris, guitar. Today you can see them right in the middle of downtown, surrounded by the James J Hill Library, the Ordway, the Landmark Center, and The Saint Paul Hotel. Grab something from a food truck and have a wonderful lunch.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz, go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs Jazz PoliceBebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, May 30

Jon Rodine on the left, with Rusty Jones and Dave Babb, two of his many musical friends.

Jon Rodine & Friends on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, NE Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI), 7pm (331 Club – tip jar) Rodine is one of the area’s finest purveyors of Americana. His songs are rooted in folk, R&B, and country soul. Tonight he’s bringing along Dan Gaardner and Dave Babb on guitars, Steve Murray on bass, and for the first hour at the 331, Dan Newton on the stomach Steinway.

Thursday, May 31

Josh Granowski & Patrick Harrison @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 10pm (No Cover) Granowski on bass and Harrison on accordion perform music from films and Broadway, including compositions by Lalo Schifrin, Danny Elfman, John Williams, and more.

Friday, June 1

Mary Cutrufello CD Release Party @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 10pm. (Tip Jar)   Cutrufello is celebrating a new release, “Fireflies Till They’re Gone.” She has appeared on the Tonight Show and Austin City Limits, toured with the Allman Brothers, performed at Farm Aid, and has been written up in both the New York Times and Rolling Stone. The new album is a bit quieter and more reflective than her previous efforts. It’s the kind of music you’ll put on late at night, while sipping some whiskey and wondering about the life choices you’ve made. Nevertheless, don’t be surprised if she throws in some hard driving honky-tonk into the mix tonight.

Paul Cebar @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) After an appearance on a Milwaukee edition of Prairie Home Companion a few weeks ago, Paul brings his rhythmic, joyous music to Saint Paul. The Minnesota Music Cafe has a good sized dance floor, which will be filled, I’m sure, by twisting, gyrating, grooving folk of all ages.

Flatt Foot Rollers @ Mr. BBQ, 4621 Central Ave, Columbia Heights. 9pm (No Cover) I don’t know the venue, but a barbeque place, sounds like a great setting to hear the old school R&B of the Rollers. Dance to songs like Lowdown, Brick House, Ain’t No Stopping Us Now, and more. Listen to their music here.

Saturday, June 2

Swede Hollow. Photo from the MN Historical Society

Premiere of the Swede Hollow Opera @ Swede Hollow Park, Saint Paul. 4pm – 6pm (Free) This is a one-act opera by Ann Millikan, adventurous and award-winning composer. It features four vocalists and members of the Mankato Symphony Orchestra in a story that follows the lives of Swedish, Italian, and Mexican immigrants who made their homes in the Hollow. This is the climax to a day long festival of dance and music from various cultures. For more info: http://www.artinthehollow.org/

Eddies @ the Farmers Market & The Hat Trick Lounge, Saint Paul. 9:30AM – 11AM (Farmer’s Market – Free), 8PM – 11PM (Hat Trick Lounge $7). Listen to some songs of Life, Love, and Death, by Saint Paul’s favorite almost-acapella group.

Butanes Soul Revue @ The MInnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) The dance floor at the MMC will be filled to capacity for two nights in a row, as the Butanes Soul Revue takes the stage tonight. It’s a ten-piece, high impact music machine. Killer guitar from Curt Obeda, full-on vocals from Maurice Jaycox and others, and Sue Orfield on hair-raising saxophone. Three  sets of smokin’ music.

Sunday, June 3

Jonathan Richman @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($15) Richman is an extraordinary songwriter, with the ability to capture humor, pathos, and everyday observations in deceptively simple songs. Some of those songs have been featured in movies, on Conan O’Brian’s Late Night, and on Sesame Street. Opening band is the Prizefighters, keepers of the flame for ska, rock steady, early reggae, and soul music.

Curtiss Marlatt Quartet w/Dorothy Doring @ Admiral D’s, 4420 Lake Ave, White Bear Lake. 4:30pm. (No Cover) This lakeside venue will be featuring music every day during the summer. Guitarist Marlatt, he of “Bourbon Smooth Blues” is also fond of jazz. Doring can scat and easily improvise on melodies, but is equally at home with the blues. This is a pretty inspired pairing, and you can expect a bluesy, jazzy, afternoon.

Wednesday, June 6

Papa John Kolstad @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon (Free) An early alert, since I don’t always get my e-mails out on Wednesday mornings.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the Minnesota Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar.


Blossoms in the City – Music: 4.25 – 5.1

April 25, 2012

Blooming in the City

Spring has sprung. Bicyclists are everywhere, the Twins are playing ball, and trees are in bloom. Music is also in bloom. I’m always amazed at diversity of performances here in the Twin Cities. From Americana in a beautiful library, to and open rehearsal/workshop, to a bunch of musicians hanging out and playing the music they love. Spring. Music. What a combination.

Jazz

Wednesday, April 25

Patty Peterson @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm. (No Cover) Patty will bring Phil Aaron on piano, and her brother Billy on bass to this neighborhood bistro. She’s a versatile singer, and tonight she has band mates to match. It will be fund to see her in this intimate, if sometimes noisy, setting. If you want dinner, get reservations and ask to be put near the music. Otherwise, try to find a place at the bar.

Thursday, April 26

Maude Hixson, Dean Magraw: The Moon Belongs to Everyone @ Como Planetarium, 780 West Wheelock Parkway, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10) Local astronomer Peter Kunkle will lead a tour of the stars while Maude Hixson and Dean magraw perform songs that evoke stellar travel. Registration required. Purchase tickets online.

The X-Tet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) It’s the last Thursday, so Pete Whitman’s X-tet is holding forth at the AQ. Just because it’s a regular thing, don’t put off seeing this group until next time. Once you see them, you’ll be loading your phone with a reminder for every month.

Friday, April 27

Rhonda Laurie & Swing Set @ The Hat Trick Lounge, Saint Paul. 9pm ($7) Laurie sings and swings with a hint of sultriness and a dash of innocence, making for a sophisticated sound. The Trick’s intimate listening room has just enough room to take your sweetie on a romantic spin on the dance floor.

Friday, Saturday, April 27, 28

Dave Karr & Brian Grivna @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10)  A couple of musical pros having a good time. Though the sax is their main tool, both Karr and Grivna excel on a variety of wind instruments. Not only that, both have the musical imagination and chops to create an evening of joyous jazz.

Saturday, April 28

Red Planet @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 4pm Workshop (Free); 7pm performance ($10) The Jazz at Studio Z series features open rehearsal/workshops in the afternoon, where you can watch a band work on its songs. Today Red Planet is the featured band, with Dean Magraw, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums. You’ll see three of the most versatile players in town performing two different Coltrane Medleys and some new material.

James Allen and Tom Pieper @ First Course Bistro, Minneapolis. 7pm. (No cover). Guitar and bass, respectively, performing acoustic jazz, bossas, and sambas for your listening pleasure while dining in this small neighborhood place.

Sunday, Monday, April 29,30

Steve Tyrell @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45) 9pm ($30) With a career that spans four decades, most of which were spent producing, Tyrell has a Grammy and two Emmy nominations as a vocalist, as well as a version of “The Way You Look Tonight” that’s become a wedding dance favorite. He’s got a warm voice  with a bit of a rasp that’s well suited to jazz standards and pop tunes. His last appearance at the Dakota was a relaxed, highly enjoyable affair.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz in the Twin Cities, check out the Bebopified Calendar, here.

For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz check out the blogs Jazz PoliceBebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Blues, Roots, Other

Wednesday, April 25

Doug Otto & the Getaways on KFAI’s House Party and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis House Party – 5pm, 331 Club – 7pm – 9pm (tip jar). You can usually catch this band at Mayslack’s on Thursday night. This week they have an extra gig so you can hear Doug’s sweet, mournful vocals performing Delta blues and early country on KFAI (90.3 and 106.7 FM) and then head to the 331 Club.

Nikki & the Rue-Mates @ The Red Stag, Minneapolis. 10pm. (no cover) If you’re up for a late night show in the middle of the week, you would have a hard time finding a more enjoyable group. They are putting the finishing touches on a new CD, featuring a wonderful mix of country blues and folk-rock.

Thursday, April 26

Charlie Parr @ The James J. Hill Library, downtown Saint Paul. 8pm ($25 – $10 for students w/ID) It’s the Real-Phonic Radio Hour, which isn’t a radio hour, but is real and very  interesting, both in its line-ups and in its setting, the beautiful library facing Rice Park in Saint Paul. Hosted by Erik Koskinen and band, the series focuses on American roots music, poetry, and conversation. Tonight it’s Charlie Parr and his basic, basic blues, with Big George Jackson.

Saturday, April 28

Firefly Forest CD Release @ Fallout Urban Arts, 2601 2nd Ave S, Minneapolis. 7:30 ($8) Steven Hobert is a young keyboard player who is equally imaginative on piano or accordion. With FireFlyForest, he uses the both to good effect. This project includes Kip Jones, violin; Ben Lester, Pedal Steel; Jeremy Boettcher, bass: Jeff Schraw, percussion; Tyler Mickelson, guitar; James Kellerman, woodwinds; and Felicia Hobert on vocals.  Hobert makes good use of these talented players, as well as snippets of taped sounds from his travels to create songs that are sometimes dreamy, sometimes whimsical, and often playful. Opening are the Hummingbirds, a female trio of acoustic musicians and harmonizers.

Saturday, Sunday, April 28, 29

Film Festival Screening: The Entertainers @ St. Anthony Main Theater, Minneapolis. 9:20PM Saturday, 3:30PM Sunday. A film about a Ragtime Piano Competition as six different performers use skill and showmanship to try to win. Think Scott Joplin’s kind of music – the first distinctly American popular music, and a foundation for much that followed. I will have the Directors on my show Saturday morning. (KFAI, 90.3 and 106.7 FM. 10:30 – Noon)

Mischief Makers

Sunday, April 29

Gang of Mischief @ Neumann’s, North Saint Paul. 4-8pm (tip jar). Papa John Kolstad, Doug Otto, Dan Schwalbe, Albert Perez, Mike Carvale and Hurricane Harold. Acoustic Blues and Swing with an occasional Gospel tune. Hangin’ out music, just right with a beverage or two, a burger, and some fries.

James Cotton Blues Band @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($15 Adv/$20 Door) “Mr Superharp” had hip-replacement surgery at the end of last year and is now back on the road, with 68 years in the business. Guitarist Slam Allen handles the vocals, since Cotton’s  voice has deteriorated. Cotton thus has more room to play, which is why you want to see him anyway. His latest CD, Giant, which brings him back to Alligator Records, has been getting good reviews.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues and roots, see the calendar of the Minnesota Blues Society.

For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar.


Twin Cities Music Ideas: 2.15 – 2.21

February 15, 2012

All kinds of jazz. All kinds of roots music.

Jazz

Wed Feb 15

Red Planet @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 9pm (No cover) James Buckley has been putting together a varied menu of jazz for the Wednesday night jazz series at the club. Tonight he’s scored a minor coup, as this band doesn’t play out too much, given the other projects of each of it’s members: Dean Magraw, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums. Electrified jazz that encompasses Hendrix, Coltrane, and more.

Valves Meet Slide @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) It’s a trombone throw-down, with Brad Bellows and Dave Graf “battling” it out, with the help of Peter Schimke, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Mac Santiago, drums.

Thursday, Feb 16

Dave Karr Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm. ($5) Karr has been peforming in the Twin Cities for about six decades now, and is still going strong, contributing thoughtful, melodic solos to Pete Whitman’s X-Tet, the JazzMN Big Band, and a number of vocalists around town. He’s joined tonight by Chris Lomheim, piano; Billy Peterson, bass; and Kenny Horst on drums. Here they are doing Zoot Walks In.

Friday, Feb 17

Bruce Henry @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12) Though Henry now lives in Chicago, the former Twin Citizen still manages to get back here a couple of times a year, and this is our lucky week. The  smooth baritone has a firm grasp on the history of African American music, and it shows in his performances, which can include standards, bebop,  blues, and Motown. Whatever he sings, the results are all Henry.

Friday, Saturday, Feb 17, 18

Todd Clouser’s A Love Electric CD Release @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) This buzzed-about band is lead by guitarist Clouser, who is from Minneapolis but is based in Baja, Mexico. His all-Twin Cities ensemble includes Bryan Nichols, piano; Greg Shutte, drums; Adam Meckler, trumpet; and Chris Bates, bass. Clouser has been touring Europe and is celebrating the release of “20th Century Folk Selections,” which includes songs that range from “Little Boxes” by Malvina Reynolds, to “the Needle and the Damage Done” by Neil Young, with stops at the Beastie Boys and Nirvana in between. Reviews of the band and the release include terms like “blistering neo-jazz,” “Frisell with some Hendrix,” and “takes its cues from fuzzed out acid rock and vintage funk.” I’ll have Clouser on my show Saturday morning.

Saturday, Feb 18

Kurt Elling and Lizz Wright: Be My Valentine @ Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis. 8pm.  ($25 – $55) The premier male vocalist of jazz and a rising star.

Sunday Feb 19

Mary Louise Knutson @ Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, 285 Dale St. No, Saint Paul. 4pm (Free Will Offering). Knutson is top-tier piano player. Doc Severinson knows it, as he has her in his band whenever he comes to town. Her latest CD, “In the Bubble,” has hit the top ten in the jazz charts. This performance is part of the Concerts and Compline series at the church. Mary Louise will be performing her own compositions as well as others.

Music for your mind and humidity for your skin here in the sunken garden

Robb Henry Trio The Como Park Conservatory, Saint Paul. 5pm – 8pm. Henry and his Trio perform new interpretations of Django Reinhardt classics as well as pop melodies of the 60s in the warm, humid confines of the Conservatory. It’s part of their Music Under Glass Series, and is quite delightful, though truth be told, there’s not a lot of seating. Adult beverages are available, as well as some sandwiches and other snacks.

Monday, Feb 20

Debbie Duncan and Jef Lee Johnson on Saint Paul Live! on KBEM (88.5FM) 7pm. Debbie performing with the Tuesday Night Band at the AQ last Summer, and extraordinary guitarist Jef Lee Johnson with Michael Bland on drums and Yohannes Tona on bass, performing at the Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar this past Fall.

Didier Petit @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (tip jar)  Petit is an avante-garde cellist last seen here trilling audiences during the Minnesota Sur Seine Festival a few years back. He’ll be playing solo and in a trio format with Nathan Hansen on sax and Brian Roessler on bass.

 

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz, go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar.
For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs Jazz PoliceBebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wed, Feb 15

Koerner & Glover @ The 400 Bar, Minneapolis. 8pm doors ($5) Spider John weaves traditional folk songs like nobody’s business. Tony Glover’s harpwork is sharp and to the point. Just because they are local institutions doesn’t mean you shouldn’t catch them while you can. Local Thief opens.

Wed, Thur, Feb 15, 16

Hugh Masakela @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40), 9pm ($30). A special event, as the South African trumpeter brings his music to the Twin Cities. He’s touring behind a new CD, “Jubalan,” which is full of the joyous sounds.

Thursday, Feb 16

Charles Bradley @ The Fine Line Music Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($20) Though he’s only become known is the last few years, Bradley is no Johnny -come -lately to soul music. He’s toiled in the trenches for over thirty years, honing his act. Bradley last appeared with the Budos Band, his label-mates from Brooklyn’s Daptone Records, and lived up to his nickname as “The Screaming Eagle of Soul.”  Openers are Little Barrie, a hot trio from England that plays stripped down rock n’ roll.

Sat, Feb 18

Joe & Vicki Price @ The Driftwood Char Bar, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip jar) The little joint in South Minneapolis provides an intimate setting for the foot-stomping, stripped down, electrifying blues of the Iowa couple.

Freewheelin’ Presents the 2nd Annual Reckless Valentine’s Ball @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7) If you have a little attitude about Valentine’s Day, this just might be your ticket. Heck, you’ll especially want to be there if you love fire-breathing rockabilly and danceable roots music. KFAI’s Jackson Buck brings the Restless Ones, Javier & the Innocent Sons, and Ross Kleiner & the Thrill to Lee’s. Get out the hair pomade and shine up those dancin’ shoes. The fun begins with dance lessons @ 8.

Hotpants 45RPM Dance Party @ The Nomad, Minneapolis.  9pm ($5) It’s the Belated Valentine’s edition, and the guys with the funky 45s are making up for being late by having a free Photo Booth so you and your sweetie can take some fun pictures.

Sunday, Feb 19

Anders Osborne & Karl Denson’t Tiny Universe Perform Sticky Fingers @ The Fine Line, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25)   Here is one way for the torch to be grabbed, if not passed. Osborne is an award winning guitarist from New Orleans who will join Karl Denson and his band for a song-by-song interpretation of the Rolling Stone’s classic album. Osborne will also open the show with a solo performance of songs from his highly acclaimed CD, “American Patchwork.”

Tuesday, Feb 21
Mardis Gras @ The Eagles Club, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) Four bands playing N’Awlins R&B, Swamp Pop, Traditional Jazz, Zydeco, and Cajun to help you party: The Faux Playboys, Mister Rowles, Southside Aces, and the Rockin’ Pinecones. Whether you wear a mask or not is up to you.

For a complete list of blues (and some roots) events, see the Minnesota Blues Society calendar.


Let the Holiday Shows Begin – 12.7 – 12.13

December 7, 2011

Well, the special shows for the holiday season are ramping up. We’ve got a jazzy Nutcracker, the White Christmas movie with a jazz vocalist and piano duo as well, the John Lennon tribute show, and Robby Vee’s Christmas show. Specials aside, there is simply plenty of music to be excited about, including the debut of a couple of exciting new jazz groups, and performances by proven artists.

Jazz

Wednesday, December 7

Jon Pemberton Trio @ The Red Stag, NE Minneapolis. 10pm. Pemberton is a triple threat musician, hailed as a trumpeter, pianist, and composer. He leads a couple of quintets, has played with diverse musicians, and released a critically acclaimed CD, “On the Edge,” in 2010. Tonight he’ll be joined by Gary Raynor, bass, and Jay Epstein, drums.

Friday, December 9

A Jazz Nutcracker Suite & Holiday Swing Dance @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm. ($25, Free to All Students) Saxophonist David Milne leads the Jazz Ensemble from UW – River Falls in a performance of the Ellington/Strayhorn version of Nutcracker Suite. Milne is a member of the JazZax Saxophone Quartet and Pete Whitman’s X-Tet, to which he’s contributed some terrific arrangements. He’s also Professor of Music and Chair of Music Programs at UW – River Falls. Nutcracker Suite will be performed at 7pm, followed by a swing dance, complete with lessons. Sounds like lots of fun, and hopefully could become a new tradition.

Friday, Saturday, December 9,10

Red Planet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Dean Magraw, guitar, Chris Bates, bass, and Jay Epstein, drums, create music that swoops, glides, and often rocks. I suppose you could call it fusion, since it has the melodic surprise of jazz and the energy of rock, but thanks to the tasty rhythm section of Bates and Epstein, Red Planet swings. You can listen to them here.

Saturday, December 10

Nachito Herrera @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15) Followed by Malamanya, 11pm ($5) Whether playing Rachmaninoff, Earth, Wind, & Fire, or the melodies of his home country Cuba, Herrera is a fire-wielding pianist whose technique is matched by his passion. He’ll be joined tonight by his daughter, Mirdalys, who is making her own name for herself. Afterwards, stick around for the acoustic sounds of Malamanya, who use Cuban son, salsa, and other Latin sounds to satisfy dancers.

Teresa Manzalla @ The Hat Trick Lounge, Saint Paul. 9pm. ($5) Vocalist Manzalla singing jazz standards, accompanied by a guitarist. Perfect for the intimate Hat Trick listening room.

Saturday, Sunday, December 10, 11

White Christmas with Maude Hixson and Rick Carlson @ The Historic Heights Theater, Columbia Heights. 2pm Saturday and Sunday, and 7pm Sunday ($10) A big screen presentation of the classic movie in a classic movie house, along with some gaily wrapped Christmas songs by silky-voiced Hixson and Carlson, the understated piano man. This has been selling out every year for 12 years, so reservations are recommended. (763-788-9079, or online)

Monday, December 12

Adam Meckler: Music for Large Ensembles @ O’Gara’s, Snelling & Selby, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5). This is an exciting new project, featuring some of the Twin Cities, hip younger talent. Adam Meckler is a fine trumpet player, and a regular with Pete Whitman’s X-Tet, the Jack Brass Band, and Todd Clouser’s Love Electric. U of M music educator Dean Sorenson will be directing, while the band will include the likes of Pete Hennig, Evan Montgomery, Bryan Nichols, Chris Bates, and Zack Lozier, Nelson Devereaus, Ben Doherty, Sten Johnson, Keith Hison, and others.

Tuesday, December 13

Box Car @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm. Pianist and former Twin Citizen, now New Yorker, Jeremy Walker has pulled together a quartet of adventurous musicians in saxophonist Wessell “Warm Daddy” Anderson (NY): Anthony Cox, bass (Twin Cites/NY/Twin Cities): and  JT Bates, drums (Twin Cities) to hit the road with original music. Tonight’s their debut, and well worth checking out.

For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out Jazz Ink, Jazz Police, and Bebopified, listed at right. For a comprehensive listing of Jazz in the Twin Cities, go to the KBEM calendar, here.

Roots, Blues, Other…

Thursday, December 8

32nd Annual John Lennon Tribute Show @ First Avenue, Minneapolis. 9pm. ($15) Thirty-two years? How can it be so long? Don’t know which era of John Lennon Curtis A. will be channeling tonight, but this event is always fun. Also includes the release of the Minnesota Beatle Project, Vol 3, and openers Nona Marie & Her Choir, White Light Riot, and Me and My Arrow. The sound in this video from last year isn’t great, but  gives you a good idea of what to expect.

Doug Otto & the Getaways @ Mayslack’s Bar, NE Minneapolis. 9pm (free). Doug Otto has a voice that sounds as if he grew up in the Depression and traveled the country, looking for work. The Getaways provide a rootsy, sympathetic backing.

Hipshaker @ The Kitty Kat Club, Dinkytown, Minneapolis. 9pm. If its the first Thursday of the month, that means a couple of hundred folks are getting out their dancing shoes to bop, swing, and shake that thing to the soul & funk 45s of the Hipshaker crew. This month they’re joined by genial record store owner Mark Trehus, of Treehouse Records, who’ll bring his collection of hip-shakin southern soul to the proceedings, I’m sure.


 Friday, December 9

Robby Vee’s Rock n’ Roll Christmas Show @ Withrow Ballroom, 2169 Keystone Ave. N., Hugo. 8pm ($15) Slick back your hair, get out those bowling shirts, put on your dancing shoes and prepare to go “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.” This second generation rock n’ roller, son of Bobby Vee, has toured and played with many of the genre’s originals, earning praise from Carl Perkins, Dion, Ron Wood, and Robert Plant, among others.

 

Saturday, December 10

First Annual Lowertown Art Show w/Jeff Ray & Hurricane Harold and The Red Dog Band @ AZ Gallery and The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm – 10pm. (No cover) Jeff & Harold are in the AZ Gallery and the Red Dog is in the Black Dog – apropo – no?

Sunday, December 11

Mojo Buford Benefit/Tribute @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 2pm – 7pm. Though Buford has made the transition, tragically, he didn’t have enough money to pay funeral expenses.  Hence, this benefit to help his family defray expenses and to pay tribute to the harp player who taught many Twin Cities musicians how to play the blues. Expect appearances from Curt Obeda, Willie Murphy, Dan Schwalbe, John Franken, Mick McCormick, Bill Black, “Hurricane” Harold Tremblay. Maurice Jaycox, and more….

Tuesday, December 13

Paul Mayasich & the RAMM Band @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 8pm – 11pm (No Cover)  Paul has a new Tuesday night residency at the MMC, giving city-dwellers a chance to hear his stellar guitar playing without going to the suburbs.

For a more complete listing of blues in the Twin Cities, check out the Minnesota Blues Society calendar here.


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